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Managing staff

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Kaliblue, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Avoidance can be for a variety of reasons; a feeling of being overwhelmed already, not knowing what to do or a feeling of inadequacy that they are masking. Meetings are part of directed time usually and cannot be avoided, therefore, go and find them and ask them. Explain the importance of the meetings and the value in terms of reducing individual work load in thelong term. See if there is any impediment in their attendance - then insist. If they still don't respond or attend you need to speak to your line manager for the next steps.
    In terms of the scheme of work, set aside some time to plan together to make your expectations clear or sit down and look at their 'to do' list that you can see what the block is.
    Having come from a business background myself I would still suggest that a more supportive approach to begin with will avoid the unecessary trouble that early and aggressive action would inevitable create.
    Your job is to support and guide ... you are a teacher, employ the skills you have to get the best out of your students with your staff, no one wants to be rubbish!!!
  2. Can I suggest that you lead by example and do a large chunk of the SOW yourself and then ask the others to follow your model.

    JEJF_JEJF New commenter

    I did I assigned myself two SOW's to write and asked everyone else to write just one, I completed mine within two weeks and provided everyone with copies to know my expectations.
    I have offered the member of staff time to come and see me repeatedly to work on the SOW's together, I have even suggested emailing me what they have completed and I can look over it for them, but they never take me up on this offfer.
    I aggree that it is better to offer a lot of support to them but I feel I have done all these things and they are still not attempting to make any efforts. My line manager has noticed that there is a problem here with this member of staff and assured me they will attempt to discuss the issues with them.
    It seems the member of staff is avoiding me and my emails now.
  4. why is it most new HOD start off by asking their staff to write new SOW - what was wrong with the old ones - adapt / improve them. Bring SOW from their previous position & discuss with new staff. Why are we adding more pressure & work load to already busy staff. Why change everything at once too (rant over)
    At this time of year everyone who teachers KS4 & 5 feels overloaded with coursework - getting it in & marking it.
    There might be very valid reason why this person has not done what you have *asked* - have you had actually tried talking to them - suggest you take them a cup of tea at end of school day & sit day for a chat

  5. salsera

    salsera New commenter

    I have to agree with what the previous poster has said. I have just taken over as HOD, in a dept that was also in a mess. There is no way I would expect staff to carry out their teaching loads and maintain some sort of status quo within their classroom and suddenly have increased work load because I want them each to complete a SOW.
    You cannot go in and change everything in one swoop.You have to build a team for starters and get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the staff who you are working with. You need them on your side. This one staff member may have something going on that you do not know about, it is your reponsibility to find out and support them and not think they are shirking.Rather than send emails talk to them - give them some of your time.
    Have you asked your dept staff for ideas? have you had time off TT as a dept to work through what needs to be done and what can remain?
    Writing a SOW is secondary to getting everyone on your side and working together for the smooth functioning of your dept.
    Also it's about making positive changes not unnecessary changes - you might not see an impact for a while but gradual development is more profitable and sustainable than some crazed, immediate overhaul where everyone including yourself ends up burnt out and frazzled.
    Good luck
  6. Don't email. Don't ask them to meet you. Go to them when you know they are free, get them covered, wait by their classroom door. Whatever, there are physical ways to avoid being avoided this needs an adult face to face and an honest conversation. Time to step up methinks.

    JEJF_JEJF New commenter

    Thank you some brilliant posts, I think I had gotten worked up a bit, and could have ended up doing something rash.

    We had a department meeting scheduled again for yesterday, I had spoken to the member of staff prior to the meeting telling her that I know she is busy but if she is unable to make a meeting please inform me prior to the meeting so I can try to reschedule around her if needed. She told me she was able to make the meeting, and then on the day she disappeared. This does annoy me a lot and if this is not shirking responsibility or down right rudeness I don’t know what is.

    With regards to all the comments about the SOW's I do know that it’s not normal to re-write everything (specially at this time of year with exam groups and huge work load) but just before I arrived in this school the DT dept had a department OFSTED inspection that they failed on every point, the head insisted when I started that everyone write a SOW, she called a Saturday meeting and all members of staff agreed to take on an SOW, including this member of staff who has not been completing it. The school schedules departments meetings as directed time, the last meeting time I told everyone in the department to use this time to complete their SOW's. Everyone but this member of staff took that time to spend with me writing their SOW's. For the most part we have been putting best bits of different SOW’s together anyway.

  8. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Sounds like it's time for a chat with her and your line manager. You have enough evidence of trying to do the right thing, and she is not complying with her directed time - to me, it's the same as if she didn't turn up to one of her lessons. In future, instead of talking to her, I'd email her, so it's in writing, and request a "proof of reading" email. If things don't improve, I'd even automatically copy in your line manager to all email communication. Frankly, she's taking the p***.
  9. You need to speak to your line manager, I probably would have done this before now. In your meetings with your line manager you can mention how the scheme writing is going and say who you know is on top of it and who isn't. Your line manager may already have ideas on how to deal with everyone. It is absolutely vital that you work on your relationship with this person and stop being frustrated by them, but start to find things that they do well. You can't be chasing them around like this every time you have a deadline, you need to bring them on board. Do they have friends in the faculty? Can you use their relationships with others to bring them into the fold, not isolate them.

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